‘Yu Yu Hakusho’ is the new Japanese action-adventure series developed by Akira Morii and Kazutaka Sakamoto for Netflix. It is a live-action adaptation of the popular manga series of the same name by Yoshihiro Togashi. For those not familiar with the source material, the series is a mix of supernatural and fantasy elements with plenty of action sequences. It follows a teen delinquent, Yusuke Urameshi, who is chosen as a Spirit Detective to investigate cases involving otherworldly forces (yokai).  

The 5-episode season is filled with all the fun and excitement that you would expect from such a project. Its cast includes Takumi Kitamura, Jun Shison, Kanata Hongo, Shuhei Uesugi, and Sei Shiraishi in the central roles.

Spoilers ahead.  

Yu Yu Hakusho (Season 1) Recap:

What happens in live-action ‘Yu Yu Hakusho’ on Netflix?

‘Yu Yu Hakusho’ on Netflix follows a junior high school student Yusuke Urameshi (Takumi Kitamura), who spends most of his time getting into some sort of fight. He dies while saving a kid from an accident and then gets sent back to Earth to investigate the supernatural forces unleashed in the human world. Please note that the following recap is for the live adaptation and not for the eponymous manga series. There may have been a few changes that the writers and creators made while producing the show.

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Episode 1

Yusuke has a poor reputation in his junior high school because he often gets into fights. The staff considers him as just another delinquent, unworthy of their service. However, they don’t know that Yusuke gets into fights to help others. He does not take credit for them and continues to do the work. One day, after a similar fight, he notices a kid almost getting hit by a car. While trying to save him, Yusuke suffers a tragic death. It takes a few moments for him to register it. He soon gets greeted by Botan (Kotone Furukawa), the Spirit World Guide (aka Gream Reaper), who takes him to meet King Enma Jr, aka Koenma.

Koenma offers to resurrect Yusuke in exchange for responsibility. Some malevolent otherworldly forces had broken the barrier between the Demon World and the Human World and had unleashed chaos. So, Koenma wants Yusuke to stop them as a Spirit Detective. Yusuke initially rejects the offer. Botan takes him back to the Earth to make him get his mojo back. Although he can see others, no one can see him. Yusuke finds his mother – Atusko (Ayumi Ito), mourning his death. His house gets on fire right after she senses proof of his life. So, he asks Koenma to resurrect him. 

Yusuke notices a boy named Kirino getting harassed by a group of bullies from his school. It ignites the savior spirit within him, and he decides to protect Kirino. In the process, Kirino gets possessed by a monster and starts wrecking everything around him. Yusuke realizes that and decides to relieve Kirino from that suffering. Although not well-versed in using his Spirit Energy, he discovers the method along the way. So, he manages to save Kirino and then begins his further journey. Yusuke’s mother and his friend Keiko Yukimura (Sei Shiraishi) are pleasantly surprised to see him return.  

On the other hand, Kazuma Kuwabara (Shuhei Uesugi), from Yusuke’s class, senses something strange in his reappearance. While businessman Sakyo (Goro Inagaki) approaches Tarukame in a casino, a yokai named Kurama (Jun Sinson) fights with a greasily red monster.   

Episode 2 

Yusuke tries to learn how to use the Spirit Energy to his complete potential. Koenma guides him on how to use his Spirit Gun. Botan tells him about Goki, a Yokai thief who preys on young children’s lives. While she guides him to restore order between the two worlds, Kuwabara notices him speaking with Botan. But, unlike him, no one else can see the Spirit Guide. Anyhow, Yusuke uncovers a place where he can come face to face with the piping red-colored monster. He gets in an intense fight with this creature and retrieves the Rapacious Orb. That is how he manages to save the lives of several children.  

Yusuke follows red-haired Kurama to a hospital to find an ailing woman. He reveals that he uses the disguise of a human to achieve his goal. That is when he experienced compassion and felt that he needed to save her. That is why he is keeping the Mirror of Darkness in his possession. When Kurama tries to help save his mother by entering the void of darkness, Yusuke joins to put an end to his misery. He talks sense into Kurama to make him realize the futility of his attempts. Then, he offers to give half of his life to save his mother. Later, Kuwabara joins Yusuke in his mission as a Spirit Detective. He now needs to find the final dangerous object – Conjuring Blade from Hiei (Kanata Hongo) 

Tarukame tries to secure the Tears of Ice as his prized possession by keeping Yukina (Ai Mikami) locked inside a cage. It soon gets stolen by a Yokai. Sakyo invites him to his facility to help get the Tears of Ice back from the thief. 

Episode 3

To reclaim the Conjuring Blade, Yusuke infiltrates a mansion. That’s when he comes face-to-face with a swordsman from Hiei, who defeats him with little to no effort. So, Botan sees it crucial that Yusuke learns how to use his abilities as best as he can. Koenma assigns him a powerful mentor to help with training. Kuwabara joins them to train under Genkai (Meiko Kaji). Kuwabara is tasked with hitting a huge rock with his wooden sword. He continues with his attempts despite repeated failures. She praises Kuwabara’s perseverance and feels Yusuke lacks it. While she starts losing hope in him, he and Kuwabara eventually finish their training successfully.  

Kurama offers to help Hiei in getting the whereabouts of his sister in exchange for returning the sword to the Spirit Detective. Tarukame arrives at Sakyo’s facility on Kubikukuri Island. That’s when he meets a club of other people who have been offered safety and indulgences. They watch Toguro (Go Ayano) beat another Yokai to a pulp. They soon realize Yukina has escaped their cage. So, Sakyo sends another Yokai to bring her back. He offers Tears of Ice to Tarukame. On the other hand, he works on his malicious plan to connect the Human World to the Demon world. 

A still from Yu Yu Hakusho Season 1.
A still from Yu Yu Hakusho Season 1.

Toguro meets Genkai, who once were trained together. Meanwhile, Yusuke fights against Hiei to get hold of the blade. Kurama stops their fight and makes them realize that they should come together to fight against their common evil. So, the two decide to go to Kubikukuri Island with Kurama and Kuwabara.  

Episode 4

Yusuke heads toward Kubikukuri Island with his crew to rescue Keiko and Yukina from captivity. They reach Sakyo’s facility to confront their deadly enemies. The crew disperses for their individual battles. While Kurama and Hiei resume fighting, Kuwabara joins Yusuke to rescue their loved ones. Hiei turns the body of his opponent into ashes. On the other hand, Kurama struggles to fight against the supernatural abilities of his opponent. Eventually, he speaks about the Seed of the Death Plant. Soon, he stands back on his feet and manages to beat his enemy. 

Sakyo shows the wealthy men these fights for amusement. The men enjoy betting on the fighters. Meanwhile, Keiko devises an escape plan and rescues herself along with Yukina. On their way out, they bump into Kuwabara, who wants to save them. After fighting against a Yokai, he realizes who kidnapped Keiko. He tries to fight but cannot succeed against that strange, shape-shifting creature. By then, Yusuke gets face to face with Toguro. Sakyo learns that the wormhole is open, which means, the barrier between the Human World and the Demon World is broken. 

High On Films in collaboration with Avanté

Episode 5

During Yusuke’s fight against Younger Toguro, the safety of wealthy parties gets risked. Kuwabara tries his best to fight against the Older Toguro. Botan realizes the danger of the wormhole and alerts Koenma about it. Koenma meets Sakyo and tries to confront him. Meanwhile, Hiei and Kurama join Yusuke in his fight against Younger Toguro. As a team, they become a formidable force against the dangerous beast. Still, he returns with all his might on the battlefield. Both versions of Toguro get together and get Yusuke on his knees.  

Yu Yu Hakusho (Season 1) Ending Explained:

What happens to Yusuke in the end? 

Older Toguro reveals that Younger Toguro and Genkai were once friends and wanted to be marital art masters together. But things changed and led them on different paths. To preserve his youth, he fought against Genkai and killed her. Through this story, Botan realizes that Toguro was once a human. After that, the Younger Toguro turns the Older Toguro to dust. Yusuke gets back to his fight against this beast to save Kuwabara. Koenma sees their battle and understands Yusuke’s extreme potential. The Demon World starts rapidly opening up.  

Younger Toguro starts fighting against Yusuke. Eventually, he beats Kuwabara almost to death. It unleashes rage inside Yusuke, who uses his Spirit Energy to the level of Toguro’s enormous power. Koenma and Botan see Yusuke’s strength with awe. After the fight, Kuwabara apologizes to Yukina on behalf of humans. Hiei hands over his blade. Sakyo’s ambitious plan fails in the end. So, he cannot digest his loss and shoots himself to death. By beating all the odds, Yusuke manages to restore order between the two worlds.

Read More: Netflix’s Yu Yu Hakusho Cast & Character Explained

Yu Yu Hakusho (Season 1) Trailer

Yu Yu Hakusho (Season 1) Links: IMDb Wikipedia
The Cast of Yu Yu Hakusho (Season 1): Takumi Kiramura, Shuhei Uesugi, Jun Shison, Kanata Hongo,  Sei Shiraishi, Kotone Furukawa
Yu Yu Hakusho (Season 1) Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy | Runtime: 5 Episodes
Where to watch Yu Yu Hakusho

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